On this private tour, we take you back to the good old times of Communist Budapest, when people drove Trabants, drank spirits at work, lived in block flats, stood in banana lines, had two passports, coupon books, no TV on Mondays and no freedom of speech! Experience the build up to 1956 Uprising, follow the marches, relive the battles and hear the stories!
Highlights and Themes
- Explore Budapest with just your group and private certified guide
- Get an in-depth introduction to the Communist history of Hungary
- Learn about important historical events like the 1956 Revolution, WWI & II, and get a 19th-century historical overview
- Visit our own unique exhibition of how life was back then (display of furniture, artefacts, readers, relics)
- Understand the speeches, protests, marches and Soviet invasions that made up the 1956 Revolution
- Get a feel for the lifestyle and culture of the time and see how we lived under Big Brother
- Hear about the transition to freedom with the fall of the Iron Curtain
- Refreshment stop in a retro lounge
Dates & Times
9:30 – daily
14:30 – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Private tours can start from your accommodation depending on where you’re staying in the city. If this is not possible, the tour will start at our office listed below.
Absolute Tour Center
1065 Budapest, Lazar street 16,
located right behind the Opera House
Conclusion point: City center, close to transport links
Full Tour Description
Duration: 3.5 hours
The Hammer and Sickle tour is perfect for those who want to get a little glimpse of how Budapest was during Communist rule! It has been written and raved about in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers. With this tour you’ll journey through 50 years of Communist life in the Hungarian capital.
To set the scene, your guide will summarize how it all began. The rules with regard to what you could and couldn’t do. And what life was really like behind the iron curtain. You’ll learn about how children were brought up and how families lived. Understand how and where people could travel and how long it took to get a passport. Experience the benefits of Party membership. Learn of the like black markets and banana lines. And why there was no TV on Mondays. We take an in depth look at these and many other interesting quirks of the times.
As the tour progresses you’ll come to learn that Hungary has a past filled with victories, failures and struggles. We’ll guide you through these eventful times, showing you the places and sights involved and teaching how they shaped the Hungary of today.
On the tour, we’ll also confront another major event of the era. The 1956 Revolution and the events that led up to it, including the War of Independence, the Great Compromise and World War I and II.
After delving into recent history we take a microscopic look at the newly appointed Communist government after World War II and how their actions fed into the eventual 1956 Revolution. The tour leads you through the first protests and marches. Then the first shootings and killings that led the Hungarians to fight back against an unethical regime and some of the major areas where all the action happened.
Some of our stops and stories will be around Liberty Square. We’ll hear about Cardinal Mindszenty’s part in the revolution. And of the significance of the Square and the last remaining tribute to the Soviet Union. We will embrace the character of Imre Nagy at his memorial. And remember the man who defied the leaders in Moscow and paid dearly on the gallows two years later. Another stop will be the Parliament area where shots were first fired, which instigated the revolt to take up arms and defend Hungary’s freedom.
The 1956 Uprising was a short-lived battle on the streets. But silently, in the back of the minds of many Hungarians, they plotted their flight from Communism and finally laid to rest the memories through the reburial of Imre Nagy. This gradually led to free elections and a return to the free society we have today.
Also included on the tour is a visit to our own private exhibition room. Here we will introduce you to the real features of a Hungarian home, including relics and typical furniture and furnishings. Furthermore, we have an extensive collection of many communist related artifacts, such as red and blue passports, party member’s registration book, pins, medals, currency and huge placards to help your understanding of the propaganda we once lived under!
We reserve the right to alter and change the tour program without prior notice due to construction, city closures for events, festivals and so on throughout the year.
Private professional English speaking guide, refreshment stop in a retro lounge, visit to our own private exhibition room, public transportation during the tour.
Transport from the end point, gratuity/tip
Important notice: Visiting the exhibition room requires the ability to climb one storey of stairs (with handrail).
Groups over 15 people please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org